Been a while? Hello there! I’m back with some more reviews for Valentine’s Day, a couple fabulous new albums, and an ever-changing playlist of my favorite quietly romantic songs for candles, incense and a glass of wine. Enjoy.
Tindersticks- The Waiting Room
Though a precursor to bands such as The National and heir to the throne of luminaries The Meat Puppets, Tindersticks tend to play by their own rules, as these last few weeks have taught me. The Waiting Room is the 11th Tindersticks album, though it is the first this writer has had the pleasure of listening to. The music is a somber and what some may describe as dull affair, and granted, it is sleepy and lacks the exuberant greased machine power of The National. But what they lack in shout, they make up for in spirit. The Waiting Room is a haunted album, an album by an aging group of Englishmen who, in their 40s, have moved towards a sound more like Wild Beasts and Mashrou’ Leila than Arab Strap. Stuart Staples voice is that of the aging romantic, and his low nasal creak, he displays incredible emotional range and understanding. On the post-supernova “Hey Lucinda”, an old man calls for a beauty and a drink, and she answers with graying rejection and a nearly wanton give and take. Staples sees his youth slipping away, but notices the quiet beauty he has surrounded himself with. Perhaps it was always there, could it be that this sight comes with age?
Anderson .Paak- Malibu
First hearing from Anderson .Paak in frequent, intriguing guest spots from last year’s Compton by Dre, I was still not with bated breath for his forthcoming second album. But like a great time on a blind date, I was extremely surprised with the results. Malibu is just over an hour long, no waste and all the funk. Flitting between classic R&B, Cali hip-hop, Jheri curl funk and his own spin on slow jams, .Paak is composed of multitudes of soul. Each song is a statement on it’s own. Perhaps his only contemporaries are Janelle Monaé and Miguel, but he doesn’t have their chops. What he does have is the mind of a multi-instrumentalist, a street poet’s tongue, and the sex drive of a Shakespearean tragedy. Not to mention “Silicon Valley”, the song that has single-handedly changed my view on the term “tig ol bitties”. He teeters between physicality-based jokes and heartfelt sincerity, just like a beachside retreat. With Malibu, .Paak connects the waves crashing over him, and fearlessly finds the funk at the bottom of the ocean, adorned with the pearls and seaweed that come with it.